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66              A SEARCH IN SECRET EGYPT
passage of time deepened it, enhanced the sense of immeasurable antiquity which environed me, and made me feel that the twentieth century was slipping away from under my feet Yet, following my self-imposed resolve, I did not resist the feeling, instead I let it grow stronger.
A strange feeling that I was not alone began to creep insidiously over me. Under the cover of complete blackness. I felt that something animate and living was throbbing into existence. It was a vague feeling but a real one, and it was this, coupled with the increasing sense of the returning^ Past, that constituted my consciousness of something "psychic/5
Yet nothing clear-cut, definite, emerged from this vague and general sense of an eerie life that pulsated through the darkness. The hours slipped on and, contrary to my expectation, the advancing night brought increasing coldness with it. The effects of the three-day fast which I had undertaken in order to increase my sensitivity, now showed themselves in growing chilliness. Cold air was creeping into the King's Chamber through the narrow ventilation shafts, and then creeping past the thin barrier of my light garment. My chilled flesh began to shiver under its thin shirt. I got up and dressed myself in the jacket which I had put off only a few hours before on account of the intense heat. Such is Eastern life at certain times of the year—tropical heat by day and a heavy fall of temperature by night.
To this day no one has discovered the mouths of these air channels on the outside of the Pyramid, although the approximate area of their positions is known. Some Egyptologists have even idoubted whether the channels were ever carried right through to the outside, but the complete chilling of the air during my experience finally settles the point.
I sat oown for the second time upon my stone seat and surrendered myself anew to the oppressive death-like silence, and to the all-prevailing s6mbre darkness of the chamber. With pliant soul I waited and wondered. For no reason at all I remembered irrelevantly that somewhere to the east the Suez Canal pursued its straight course through sand and marsh, and the stately Nile provided a backbone to this land.
The queer sepulchral stillness in the room, the empty stone coffin beside me, were not reassuring to one's nerves, while the break in my vigil seemed to have broken something else too,